A little more info: Before starting this, I walked down the street to where there is a grape vine growing, and took many photographs. I went back on three occasions to get what I needed. I then printed out photos- eight large ones. After I got the dogs drawn in, I carefully studied my photos, and picked out individual leaves that I thought would work well and started to draw them in. On each leaf, I write a number that corresponds to a number I have written on the photo, so that when I go back to paint, I can easily find the reference photo to look at as I paint. Since there are no grapes on the vine this early in the year, I printed off grape photos I found online, and will put those in amidst the leaves. This process pretty much describes how I do all of my portraits that have a background. I make up the composition of the background, but the individual components are all sourced from photos. I don't like to make things up, as it is difficult to get that really realistic look without have nature to refer to.
Edited by Gwen, 11 June 2010 - 08:07 PM.